"Races at Martinsville can be very tactical especially if you're starting in the back. The biggest thing is trying to get yourself in a little different position than the leaders because it is so hard to pass. If you can get a couple of really...
"Races at Martinsville can be very tactical especially if you're starting in the back. The biggest thing is trying to get yourself in a little different position than the leaders because it is so hard to pass. If you can get a couple of really long green flag runs and you have a good car you might make up a lot of ground but that doesn't tend to happen. So, you usually have to do something out of the ordinary and that may even mean trying to run on your tires at the end of the race for 120 to 130 laps."
--Dale Jarrett on Racing at Martinsville
Getting in Position is Key at Martinsville . . . With Martinsville Speedway being one of the shortest tracks visited by the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, track position becomes essential. Dale Jarrett, driver of the UPS Ford, has experienced success at the short, flat track -- winning the spring race in 2001. Knowing how to navigate the flat track is one key ingredient, being able to put the car in position during the closing laps is also an important aspect to races at Martinsville.
"Track position is important at Martinsville like it is everywhere these days, but especially at Martinsville because the leaders have a clear track and it doesn't take long for them to get caught up with the rear of the field," Jarrett said. "That tends to cause the guys in the back to get impatient because you're trying to run hard and it only takes a small bump and someone gets turned around or you hit the brakes a little hard and turn yourself around."
"The other side of it is I've seen this work also where guys that start in the back may make a pit stop under an early caution and then be able to stay out when the leaders finally decide to pit under a later caution," Jarrett continued. "You can get some track position that way and, if things work just right, you can make it work for you throughout the day. If you get to where your sequence is the last one and you stop, then you've got fresher tires than what the leaders do at the end of the race and things can work out in your favor."
Since 1998, Jarrett has only two finishes outside the top 10 at Martinsville.
In Jarrett's last 11 starts at Martinsville, he has one win, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes.
UPS Team Uses Test at Carraway to Prepare for Martinsville . . . In preparation for the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway, the UPS Racing Team spent one day testing at the flat Carraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C. The team wanted to put some laps on the car they plan to race this weekend, which is also the same car they raced at Martinsville in April.
"I feel pretty good going to Martinsville because Dale gets around that place pretty well," Parker explained. "Our short track program has needed some work, but Martinsville really suits Dale's driving style. We tested Carraway, which is not a Martinsville but a good comparison, and we worked on some brake stuff because they had a problem with the brakes locking up during qualifying in April. We liked what we saw the car do when we tested at Carraway. We'll also be able to use some of what we did at New Hampshire at Martinsville because they are both flat tracks with narrow corners."